For a travel photographer like myself, spending a weekend in New York City is a dream come true. Hell, for any type of photographer for that matter. New York City has a plethora of amazing locales to photograph. And it never hurts that the city never sleeps; there is always something going on.
When I’m in New York City I have to go to Grand Central Station. I’m just drawn to it. People shuffling about the concourses and you can’t forget about the architecture of Grand Central Station itself. While most people go for the clock in the middle of the concourse to photograph, I always had a fascination for the lights. It’s just a simple elegance I can appreciate. Not to mention they’re so ornate and elegant at the same time.
Spending a weekend in New York City also allows me to satisfy a craving I get for a pastrami from Katz’s Deli over on Houston and 1st Ave. The pastrami is a taste of heaven. I know there are other’s who say other delis have the best pastrami, but for me Katz’s is the best. And while I’m on the side of the town, I like to walk along the East River and photograph all the bridges such as the Williamsburg, Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridge. Me and bridges of New York City go together like a pastrami on rye bread. You just can’t beat it.
Spending sunsets at Rockefeller Center at the “Top of the Rock” is something that never gets old for me. It’s magical watching the transformation of the city from high above. Again, it’s cliche, but being there is relaxing. I love the energy of city; the hustle and bustle and being able to have a bird’s eye view makes it all that much more interesting. The “Top of the Rock” has the best views of Central Park in the city. From atop I can see the entire park, past Harlem and up to the George Washington Bridge.
And who doesn’t go to Central Park when they’re spending a weekend in New York City? Also where does one begin to explore Central Park? For me it always starts at the Mall and Central Park’s Literary Walk. Any movie that was shot in Central Park most likely shot their scenes at the Literary Walk. It’s so picturesque. Just strolling down the path that ultimately ends up at the Bethesda Terrace and Fountain. Another favorite of mine when I spend time in Central Park. Depending on the season, visiting Sheep’s Meadow is a great idea. Wide open greenery accented by the skyscrapers that line the background is a view to take in once in a while. Of course, stopping by Strawberry Fields is a plus for any Beatles fan.
I do have my love affair with certain buildings in New York City and one of them is the Flat Iron building. Actually with that whole neighborhood. It’s always busy and it’s a stone’s throw from Union Square. I like Union Square to check out all the artists that advertise their work. Some of the work there is phenomenal.
Times Square is a New York City staple. The bright, vibrant lights surround you and they’re so bright you forget that it’s even nighttime. Just west of Times Square is the Highline. The Highline is an abandoned elevated train track that has been turned into a walking path spanning several blocks. The Highline offers amazing view of the west side of New York City and the Hudson River. Make sure to take a little detour to the Chelsea Market when you are on the Highline.
Brooklyn is a must if you’re spending a weekend in New York City. Besides being the hip thing to do these days, Brooklyn has amazing views of Manhattan and of course of the Brooklyn Bridge. Take a trek around the cobblestone streets in DUMBO and check out the Empire State Building through the bottom of the Manhattan Bridge. I prefer to stroll to the Brooklyn Bridge Park and enjoy the views of Lower Manhattan. And if you really want a spectacular view of Manhattan come to the park when the sun is setting behind the buildings. The glow around them is amazing.
Another touristy thing I like to do is go to the top of the Empire State Building. Of course every tourist has the same idea, but once you’re up there you know why. The views from around the city are second to none. Trying to take a photo of those views can be tricky as everyone is there with the same idea. Winter is always a great time to go there for photos as it’s too cold for everyone to be out there. Might be too cold for you too, but if you want the views to yourself, that is the best time.
As you can see there is no shortage of things to do when you’r spending a weekend in New York City. I love visiting the Big Apple and I always look forward to my next adventure in the city that never sleeps. If you have never been to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade or spent Christmas time in New York City then you definitely need to add those to your bucket list.